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CONSIDER THE SOURCE

Eclectic Prog • United States


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Consider The Source biography
US outfit CONSIDER THE SOURCE were formed in 2004 by Gabriel Marin (fretless guitar, fretless chaturangui), John Ferrara (bass) and Justin Ahiyon (drums, percussion, samples). The threesome at once started writing material covering their wide range of influences, and a demo EP subsequently saw the light of day in 2005.

Developing their style further through numerous live shows and continued writing sessions, CTS started evolving and perfecting their craft for the next couple of years, with their peculiar blend of middle eastern scales, psychedelic jams, Indian inspired micro-tonal scale structures, fusion and surging heavy rock reaching new heights on their 2007 effort Esperanto, with a stylistic expression described as instrumental sci-fi progressive rock by some.

Extensive touring and numerous festival appearances later, Consider The Source hit the studio again in 2009, and with an aim to expand their already daunting sonic palette they created their critically acclaimed third effort Are You Watching Closely?, issued later the same year.

Live concerts and various festival appearances dominate the band's future schedule, alongside recording their third full length studio effort and assembling and issuing a full length live CD. In between all of this the band take some pride in the acclaim they have gathered so far, an interview with guitarist Marin in Guitar Player Magazine one proud moment of recognition, another is being described as the future of music by Jazz Times' Howard Mendel.

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CONSIDER THE SOURCE discography


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CONSIDER THE SOURCE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.85 | 8 ratings
Esperanto
2007
3.23 | 7 ratings
Are You Watching Closely?
2009
3.63 | 15 ratings
That's What's Up
2010

CONSIDER THE SOURCE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CONSIDER THE SOURCE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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CONSIDER THE SOURCE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 2 ratings
Live at Pianos
2008

CONSIDER THE SOURCE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 That's What's Up by CONSIDER THE SOURCE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.63 | 15 ratings

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That's What's Up
Consider The Source Eclectic Prog

Review by waikashi

5 stars This is the most complex Consider The Source album yet. The compositions are the key to this masterpiece. Coming right off the success of the previous album, Are You Watching Closely, That's What's Up provides us with more muilt-bar riffs and unusual rhythms. Extended intros build the mood for tracks like "Abdiel" and "Complex Complex," and the signature middle eastern funk sound is ever present. The album reaches it's peak at the untitled track 5 (incorrectly labeled as "Ol' Chomper" above) which is the band's most epic track to date. It's starts off slow and wailing then quickly builds energy to becoming a bouncing and screaming feel-good song; just when you think it is winding down, the mood changes to cool and then funky before the climactic breakdown which demonstrates every member's virtuosity. Finally the tune ends with a triumphant decrescendo. This is an album that deserves careful listening over and over again.

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 Esperanto by CONSIDER THE SOURCE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.85 | 8 ratings

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Esperanto
Consider The Source Eclectic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

4 stars The first Consider the Source album 'Esperanto' is the band's shortest, coming in at a respectable 48 minutes but nearly twenty minutes shorter than their second album and a full half-hour under their third. Size isn't everything though, or at least that's what I tell my wife, and in this case the band's debut is both short and sweet. The title is quite appropriate given the Eastern tinge to the band's music, as well as the eclectic use of odd percussion and sampled sounds that combine to give the songs both a rather timeless and borderless feel. I mentioned when reviewing their second album that the band sounded just a tiny bit prog-folky to me, and I think that comment applies to this album as well even though hints of more contemporary bands like Explosions in the Sky and even a little Don Caballero seem obvious as well.

The second two albums are completely instrumental, while this one has a few snippets of voice (on "The Great Circuiting" and "You Go Squish Now") though in both cases it is spoken-word vocals and these may just be some sort of recorded samples. Otherwise this is all about guitars, drums and bass just like the others, though guitarist Gabriel Marin was still using his funky fretless chaturangui here. Not as much as on the second album, but enough to notice and to give an added dimension to his heavily-massaged guitar playing.

'Esperanto' sounds more like the band's second album than the third, meaning that despite heavier use of sampling and digital sound manipulation these songs have a slightly earthier and artsy feel to them, while the band's latest offering 'That's What's Up' heads off into neo-prog/math rock territory. "Constantly Nostalgic" for example sounds just like its title, a flowing, playful number with lazy percussion and guitar riffs that explore chord progressions rather than try to overpower the listener with building crescendos and spine- tingling arpeggios. That stuff turns neo and metal fans on I suppose, but the more laid- back sounds generally have a little more mass-appeal to those of us who are neither music theory experts nor primo musicians (hail to mass appeal).

I can't tell for sure on "Between the Teeth of Trouble" but it sounds like this is an acoustic guitar being amped by microphone rather than a bridge pickup. I'm probably wrong (remember that 'not a musician' comment), but the softer guitar sound on this song along with the heavy use of the weird chaturangui-thingy gives this tune a completely different and more nostalgic feel than anything else on the album. If the band were ever to hand off a single song for inclusion in some sort of V/A compilation I would highly recommend they use this one. Hopefully they'll read this and jump right on my useful suggestion.

"Patterns" starts off slowly as well and includes what sounds like a Fender Rhodes or some sort of electric piano, but once again this is Marin plucking away on his chaturangui. Rather than Eastern though, the song has a Latin mood to it despite the odd chords, embellished at times with some sort of hand drums and not much else. This is a beautiful tune that also deserves more attention. Maybe someone will discover it and include it on a podcast that leads to the band being more widely discovered and appreciated. Seems I'm full of great ideas today.

Finally "Tihai for the Straight Guy" (funny title) reveals the band's rocking side in a very Eastern way with a funky, polyrhythmic blast of bass and wailing guitar that will spin your head around if you try to follow to tempo shifts. These guys obviously spent a fair amount of time studying music the rest of us only read about, and I'm left a little disappointed that they didn't develop this sort of sound further on their subsequent albums, and especially on their latest. This sort of stuff is what really has the potential to set these guys far apart from anything else on the prog scene today. Outstanding!

I started listening to this album expecting it to be a slightly less mature version of the band's later work, but came away thinking they started with the best and have been trying to match it ever since. I really dig this band and am looking forward to hearing whatever they come up with next, but for now I have to say this is their best work and this is an album I would recommend without hesitation to any prog music fan. So four stars it is and I'll close by encouraging you to check these guys out.

peace

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 That's What's Up by CONSIDER THE SOURCE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.63 | 15 ratings

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That's What's Up
Consider The Source Eclectic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars The third and most recent Consider the Source album sounds even more math-rocky than the last although there seems to be a lot less sampling and more actual playing of instruments, especially guitar (lots of guitar), bass (lots of bass) and drums (lots of drums). I assume Gabriel Marin is still playing his fretless guitar which is still pretty pretentious but I have to concede also very impressive considering he manages to make it sound easy. He does seem to have shelved the chaturangui though (aka Indian Rickenbacker) which is kind of too bad because I thought that instrument gave the band's music a slightly folksy feel and definitely added an international flavor to the band's sound.

Once again these are all instrumentals since apparently nobody in the band can sing, or maybe they just aren't interested in words. They don't say a hell of a lot on their website either so maybe it's the latter.

The songs tend toward a little more length here than with their prior work as well, with only "I Never Played a Jewel Thief" coming in under seven minutes. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing since the comparative lack of percussion and various taped sounds makes the music sound a bit more pedestrian than the stuff on 'Are You Watching Cloesly?', their 2007 studio release. The group seems to be aiming for more of a guitar arpeggio with weird timings sort of thing this time around, and although the guitar sounds mostly the same but a little heavier, the arrangements are less eclectic with a few exceptions such as the mystical "No Easy Answer" and truly weird riffs and tempo of "How am I not Myself" which includes a bit of guitar work that sounds all the world like it was passed through Peter Frampton's talk box. Pretty cool actually.

"Ol' Chomper" has some riffs that remind me alternately of Dream Theater and Steve Howe (try and reconcile that in your brain!), while "Complex Complex" doesn't sound like it is but knowing the guy playing guitar doesn't have any frets to help him with the non-stop chord changes makes me think it was a bit tougher to pull off than it sounds.

And the closing "The H is O" comes off as a compilation of everything else on the album including wailing guitar and staccato, frenzied drum with a bass line that borders on psychotic. The song starts out a bit slow but by the end I'm thinking something akin to 'Bolero' with amps. Very wickedly tight.

This isn't really my kind of music to tell the truth, and in a lot of ways I preferred the more eclectic and earthy stuff the band cranked out on their second album. But prog fans of all stripes (including metalheads) should find this one appealing, and for that the band deserves a high three stars with at least some consideration for four. Well recommended.

peace

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 Are You Watching Closely? by CONSIDER THE SOURCE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.23 | 7 ratings

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Are You Watching Closely?
Consider The Source Eclectic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars I could see these guys fitting the modern progressive folk label given their liberal use of fretless and acoustic instruments along with plenty of amped-up percussion and synthesizers to crank out what really sounds like melodic, internationally influenced prog rock. Then again I could just as easily see them in post-rock thanks to their blend of artsy guitar crescendos ala Explosions in the Sky or Don Caballero, and the creepy synth riffs that seem to waft all the way back to the early post-rock days of Flying Saucer Attack and Bark Psychosis.

As far as I know all three of the band's albums are only available on some self-released label, and the best way to get them is in the form of downloads. In fact I've never actually seen a physical CD of any of their records, but according to their website store you can actually buy a hard copy of you're so inclined.

The instrumentation for this trio is pretty interesting, consisting of a fretless guitar (pretentious, but well-played I must admit); something called a "chaturangui" that is also fretless and looks like a Rickenbacker guitar that got tricked out by some guy from India; a rhythm section of sorts consisting of drums and electric bass; and various recorded music and sound samples. That's about it. So not generally the sort of instruments that would make you think of prog folk except that the chaturangui keeps drawing me back to that connection, along with some of the recorded samples like what sounds to be a tortured violin midway through "Prophet for Profit" and what comes off all the world like the soundtrack to an English folktale titled "Order of the Triad". So in the end I'm left a bit confused and thinking there may be more of a connection between post-rock and prog folk than I ever assumed before. Note to self to check that out.

Anyway this is a pretty cool album, although after listening to it like five times I still can't quite figure out what these guys are all about. Clearly they have a focused direction to their music which sounds at times like embellished math rock and at other times like jazz students who finally realized that jazz is boring. Regardless, the music is engaging, energetic, modern and dynamic and I'm not sure what more you could want in a contemporary prog rock band. I'm still picking my way through their latest album so don't quite have a solid picture of the band yet, but hope to soon. In the meantime I'll say this is a very solid three star effort and something I suspect almost any modern prog-rock fan would appreciate, with the possible exception of folks who only like their prog-rock of the metal variety; otherwise, check these guys out and I doubt you'll be disappointed.

peace

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 That's What's Up by CONSIDER THE SOURCE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.63 | 15 ratings

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That's What's Up
Consider The Source Eclectic Prog

Review by phillihp

4 stars I am certainly not a frequent reviewer. But when I realized that nobody had reviewed music by Consider the Source I thought that I should give my point of view and encourage other listeners to give it a try.

So... here I am. Where to start when trying to describe CTS and the music they create? They're a jam band, true, but limiting the description to that statement would be unfair. Typical jam bands create music that becomes boring and redundant after a while, this is definitely not the case here. I can also state that they're very talented musicians... but again, most of the bands listed on this site are very talented too. So?

Let's say that Consider the Source is a power trio using typical instruments (drums, bass, and guitar) to create complex, lush and original instrumental music. Amateurs of brilliant musicianship won't be disappointed. Each instrument is played with brio. One should note the unusual 12 string guitar combining both fretted and fretless parts. The fretless guitar produces atypical sounds of great beauty that can fool many listeners because it replaces the keyboards with great effect.

Their music is a blend of hard-rock with a good part of psych and another significant part of Middle-Eastern influence. Add lots of energy, humour, positivism and a strong sense of melody, stir well. You'll obtain a cohesive music that is anything but plain. And I want to reaffirm that it is c-o-h-e-s-i-v-e. Contrary to most jam bands, some of their songs will stick in your head for hours. That's why, even if they're filed under the eclectic prog etiquette (for good reason), many Neo-prog listeners might be appealed. Most of the songs are multi faceted with sometimes very slow, spacey parts and other time fast paced rythms.

I won't go through a song by song review but let's have a look at Abdiel, the first song. It's one of the few songs recorded live. Intro from outer-space. Heavy reference to middle- eastern sounds. An excellent example of how the fretless guitar may sound. This guy has very agile fingers. Some exceptional jazzy bass parts near the end too. Highly melodic. This is a good example of what these guys can do although not the most complex song of the album.

And a few words on Ol'Chomper: not to be missed. Multi-part song. Awesome melody created by the guitar. One of the highlight of the album although there's not a weak song on it.

Conclusion: If you like complex but melodic music you'll be pleased. I'll restrain myself not to give 5 stars and being referred as a fan boy (although I'm really tempted). 4 stars for this very fresh and inspired music. Do yourself a pleasure, try it at least once, these guys deserve it. The two other albums are also excellent.

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